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Photo Review: Cascade Lake

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Cascade Lake has been on my bucket list for a while, so I was excited to visit recently! Cascade Lake is a 6-acre, spring-fed lake, nestled among 70-acres of rolling hills and wooded areas. The lake has a gently sloping sandy bottom with a large roped-off area for swimming that includes various size water slides and platforms — all guarded by certified lifeguards.

A solid sixty minutes from the Greater Dulles area (think: Dulles International Airport), it was worth the drive. The lake doesn’t necessarily offer additional amenities compared to our local waterparks, but it was such a cool experience to swim, play, and jump in a natural lake! My kids especially loved jumping off the platform in the middle of the lake, with 3 jump heights to choose from (see video and pictures below). I was also surprised how many people made it a whole day trip, versus visiting for a couple of hours. Families brought pop up tents, huge picnic spreads, and food for grilling.

The park was laid out differently than I had anticipated. The walk from the parking lot is down a large hill (moms bring that wagon), and the beach itself is narrow. However, there were many nooks and crannies along the waterfront where I was surprised to find grassy areas, picnic tables, and more. We arrived later in the day, close to 3 pm, so we had no problem finding a place to sit. Also, that late in the day, almost the entire beach front sitting area was shaded which was the perfect touch! In addition to water play, my family enjoyed the paddle boats and catch and release fishing. The store even sells little nets if the kids want to try and catch minnows. There is a small channel around one side of the lake that I was able to easily see 8- to 10-inch fish.

Moms, this is a place you definitely want to visit with another adult. Since the bathrooms aren’t centrally located on the beach, just a quick walk up the hill, you’ll need an extra pair of hand and eyes to watch your belongings or wrangle the other kids. Also, be sure to bring sand toys and inflatables everyone seemed to have one, thus my kids haaaaddd to have them too. End the day at the spray grounds, which are not located near the beach — great place to play in some cool, clear, clean water and be closer to the car when it’s time to leave.

Cascade Lake is about 75-miles from Dulles International Airport, at 2844 Snydersburg Rd., Hampstead, MD 21074. Admission is fee-based, learn more here. Connect: Online | (410) 374-9111.

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Disclaimer: These opportunities are subject to last minute cancellations and changes that might not be reflected in this post. Please, always confirm with these family-friendly businesses by calling or clicking.

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